Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is closing its Sand Serpent roller coaster, a Wild Mouse model that has been at the park since 2004.
In a Thursday press release, the park said the coaster “will be retired to make way for an exciting new addition to the park’s Pantopia area.” The ride’s last day of operation will be on July 9, and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay annual passholders will get “exclusive early morning access” to the coaster from June 30 through July 4.
Sand Serpent is a Wild Mouse coaster built by German manufacturer Mack Rides. This particular coaster first made its home at Busch Gardens Williamsburg as Wild Maus from 1996 to 2003, until it was removed to make way for the Curse of DarKastle dark ride.
It was then shipped down to Tampa and renamed Cheetah Chase for the 2004 season. The Sand Serpent name was adopted in 2011 to avoid confusion with the newer Cheetah Hunt launch coaster, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Sand Serpent’s closure will leave Busch Gardens Tampa Bay with nine operating coasters. Its latest, Iron Gwazi, opened in 2022.
For anyone longing for those classic Wild Mouse turns in Central Florida, there’s a slightly taller Mack Wild Mouse at Legoland Florida, called Great Lego Race. Further northeast on I-4, Fun Spot America’s Kissimmee location has Galaxy Spin, a spinning Wild Mouse from Italian coaster firm Zamperla.